'Several groups of youths' in Leeds stopped and warned their parents could be fined thousands under Covid-19 rules

Police in Garforth have given several groups of young people Covid-19 warnings after finding them wandering the streets.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 11:25 pm

West Yorkshire Police's Leeds East team also warned the youths that their parents faced fines starting at £200 if they were caught again.

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Meeting outdoors in groups of more than six is illegal, known as the rule of six.

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Police have warned they will impose fines if necessary.

Parents have been asked to remind their children of coronavirus restrictions in Leeds.

A post on Facebook read: "Tonight we have stopped several groups of youths around Garforth and the surrounding villages.

"The youths we have stopped have been given a COVID warning.

"If we stop them again their parents will end up with a £200 fine, the fine can then double each time, £200, £400, £800, £1600, £3200 etc

"Don't get caught out.

"Can I politely remind parents that if you are going to let your child out then please explain the COVID rules.

"The last thing we want to do is issue fines, but when we are stopping groups that are clearly breaking COVID rules then we will be left with no choice."

What's changed in the latest Leeds restrictions?

- Now household mixing has been banned indoors anywhere. Before, you could mix households in pubs and restaurants. This is now illegal. You cannot mix households of any size indoors anywhere

- Outdoor mixing was banned, but is now legal again. You can meet in a private garden or in an outdoor setting (a street, a field) as long as you keep to the rule of 6 (groups no larger than six) and maintain social distancing.

All the previous rules still apply. So there is a 10pm curfew, the rule of six, face masks in shops, and social distancing still in effect.

What the law says - and what the fines are

Meeting in larger groups is against the law. There are certain exceptions. The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

If you live in a high alert level area you also cannot meet indoors with people outside of the area, unless exceptions apply - read up on the list of exceptions here.